Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh

 18007528 Title: The Lemon Grove
Author: Helen Walsh (Author Website)
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pages: 224 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (June 3, 2014)
About the Book: (from good
Set on the rugged, mountainous west coast of Mallorca, this taut, sultry, brilliantly paced novel is an urgent meditation on female desire, the vicissitudes of marriage and the allure of youth.
Taking place over the course of one week, The Lemon Grove lands in the heat of Deia, a village on an island off the southeast coast of Spain. Jenn and Greg are on their annual holiday to enjoy languorous, close afternoons by the pool, and relaxed dinners overlooking the rocks. But the equilibrium is upset by the arrival of their teenage daughter, Emma, and her boyfriend, Nathan. Jenn, in her early forties, loves her (older) husband and her (step)daughter and is content with her life, she thinks. But when this beautiful, reckless young man comes into her world, she is caught by a sexual compulsion that she's seldom felt before. As the lines hotly blur between attraction, desire and obsession, Jenn’s world is thrown into tumult--by Nathan's side, she could be young and carefree once again, and at this stage in her life, the promise of youth is every bit as seductive as the promise of passion. Jenn struggles between the conflicting pulls of resistance and release, and the events of the next few days have the potential to put lives in jeopardy as the players carry out their roles in this unstoppably sexy and unputdownable novel from a brilliant observer of the human condition.
Setting: Mallorca, Spain -   Majorca, or Mallorca is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago, in Spain.  BEAUTIFUL!!
About the Author:
Helen Walsh
HELEN WALSH was born in Warrington in 1977 and moved to Barcelona at the age of sixteen. Working as a fixer in the red light district, she saved enough money to put herself through language school. Burnt out and broke, she returned to England a year later and now works with socially excluded teenagers in North Liverpool. Brass is her first novel.
My Review:   A number of book bloggers were saying good things about “The Lemon Grove”.  Said to be the summer read not to miss.  When I saw it on Netgally, I thought I better request a copy to review.   I received my review copy and decided to read it on my vacation.  It is a quick, easy read so perfect for a vacation.
Jenn and Greg are on vacation in the beautiful island of Mallorca, Spain.  The description of the setting is amazing and very descriptive.  You can just feel the heat and the carefree life style of the island.  Jenn and Greg are joined by Greg’s daughter, Emma and her boyfriend, Nate.  A May/December relationship is sparked between Jenn and Nate.  A relationship that is filled with passion and heat.   For me, this just wasn’t enjoyable.  Being a mother of a 20 something old son, I couldn’t not get the image of my son or his friends out of my head.  Not fun!
I found Jenn as a character to be very shallow and insecure.  The relationship sprung between them very quickly.   As a stepmother, I really could not respect Jenn.  Her relationship with Emma was very rocky, but much of that was due to Jenn’s mind set that Emma was Greg’s daughter even though she had been in Emma’s life for many years.  Being a stepmother myself, I could not fathom having that mindset.  I just could not connect with the characters. 
The story line was suspenseful in wondering if they will be found out with many near misses and risky behavior.  The ending has you wondering if they were found out or not.  

My Rating: 2/5 - If you enjoy steamy, quick summer reads than “The Lemon Grove” by Helen Walsh is for you.  For me, I am looking for more substance in my stories and I really could not feel comfortable with this May/December relationship.  For me it was equivalent to walking in on our your parents.  Keep in mind I was probably the only woman on earth who had absolutely no desire to read 50 Shades of Grey by EL James either.  

My Rating Scale: 1 – didn’t like it; 2 – it was ok; 3 – liked it; 4 – really liked it; 5 – it was amazing

The Lemon Grove was also reviewed by the Cosy Books,  Book Loving Hippo, The Little Reader Library, and What Hannah Read.  
Happy Reading!

**Disclosure – Copy of The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh was received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

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